Woe Is Me! “I’m Jealous of My Boyfriend’s Success. Is That Shallow?”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
“My boyfriend and I are in the same career path. He was the one who introduced me to his team, and now, both of us work in the same team. But whenever his work gains more appreciation, instead of being happy for him, I feel a bit jealous. Am I too shallow?”
— Unpleasant emotions
AB: The fact that you recognize how you feel is the first step. The next one is to realize that you’re not having an unnatural reaction, and that this is why mixing work and personal life can be a tricky needle to thread. The fact that he introduced you to your current team can also alter the power dynamics, here — regardless of his intentions. Talk to your boyfriend about how you feel, and see if he, too, feels similarly. This can go a long way in resolving this issue, rather than just letting it fester untended. As in most cases, communication is the main way to deal with similar problems.
DR: It’s good to want to excel in your chosen career, but the question you have to ask yourself, here, is: is the competitiveness healthy, or is it adversely impacting your relationship? If it isn’t, then, I guess, nothing wrong with a bit of competitive urge! But if it’s impacting your relationship, I think you might want to explore why it is that you can’t bring yourself to feel happy for your partner. You can seek the help of a therapist, of course. But I do want you to prepare for a scenario where you may end up realizing — in course of introspection and/or therapy — that the relationship just isn’t meant to be. Do note, though: it’s not shallow per se, but it’s definitely worth looking into.
AS: It is common for people to want to do as well — or, even better — than their peers, especially when they are your close ones. It probably feels like they’ve left you behind, more so when they were the ones who brought you along. Having said that, however, it is not very healthy to feel this way constantly. So, for your own peace and good health, maybe, you should consider options where this jealousy and resentment are not constants in your professional life.
AS: It’s fairly common for people to feel this way. The world is a highly competitive place and happiness for those around us is often tinged with a bit of envy. For some, this jealousy even pushes them to work harder, but it could also lead to crippling self-doubt for others — you might want to introspect to see where you stand on this front. Also, his successes are not a reflection of your own capabilities or weaknesses — I’m sure you have many wins of your own that are being overshadowed in your mind by the appreciation your partner is receiving. As long as this emotion doesn’t filter into your relationship and start affecting the way you are with him, outside the workspace, it’s okay. If you think the jealousy is getting out of hand, though, it might be best to address it with your partner so that it doesn’t lead to resentment.